A Michiana man is celebrating a new year--it's a birthday to remember!
28 year-old Aric Ramsey has cystic fibrosis and has spent many years wondering how many birthday parties he would celebrate in his lifetime.
He says to his family, “I really am numb all the way across from the surgery.”
But, the numbness beats the physical and mental pain of cystic fibrosis that Ramsey has suffered with for years.
Three months ago he had a double lung pancreas transplant--a procedure only two other people in the nation have undergone.
That was when he was 27. Now, it's his 28th birthday and he's celebrating the start of a new year with his family and friends.
He says, “I think just last week I was able to carry a case of Pepsi through Walmart and I just smiled the whole time and everyone looked at me like what's his deal? Why is this guy so happy carrying a case of Pepsi? To me, it was like I went to sleep and woke up with new lungs.
For his mother, Monica Daugherty, it was like a dream come true. She lost her other son Andrew eight years ago to cystic fibrosis. He was 23 at the time.
Daugherty says, “Even when the last time he was in the hospital for 17 days I was in denial. I thought he was going to come through and he didn't. He got all the help they could do for him.”
As you can imagine, since Andrew's death, Aric has wondered "Will I live to see another birthday?”
He says, “It's more than a birthday now.”
His mom says, “Without the transplant he might not have lived to see his 28th birthday.”
While spending many hours at the hospital with Aric, his mom and fiancee say nurses reminded them of something scary---so many people don't talk to their loved ones about being organ donors and there is such a strong need.
The Health and Human Services Administration says as many as 15-thousand people who die each year could have been donors and saved other people's lives.
That's why the family encourages everyone to register as a donor.